Al Marsh

What’s going on with Swearingen?

October 8, 2008 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

It wasn’t easy to find an answer to the above question during a press conference in Orlando Oct. 5 at the National Business Aviation Association. I had questions, but Anthony Power of Emirates Investment and Development (which owns Emivest Aerospace) didn’t want to give answers without the boss present.

Sino Swearingen Aircraft is now called Emivest Aerospace since the Dubai-based company completed the deal in June. The aircraft shall hence be known as the Emivest Sj30.

A day later I had the chance to talk with the boss, Buti Saeed Al Ghandi (chairman of Emivest Aerospace), whose airplane had been 30 minutes late on Oct. 5, causing him to miss the press conference.

Al Ghandi said he will spend $700 million to $1 billion over the next four years to set up tooling, establish a support and sales network, and do all the other things a large jet company needs to do business. All sino Swearingen ever had was engineering tooling that was able to produce four aircraft, but never could have supported full production, he said.

The first customer delivery could occur in the first quarter of 2009. A report in Gulfnews.com that he planned to build 100 aircraft a year was incorrect, he said. No decision has been made on production rates, or even if there will be 100 copies of the first model. He implied there will be a second model with improvements to include increased range. Al Ghandi says he is not a pilot, and plays a key roll in a dozen companies, none of which are related to aviation. For example, he now regrets selling a fertilizer company that once was in his stable.

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